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Apple announces Apple TV+ service for its original TV shows and movies

After months of speculation and TV show deals, Apple today has officially announced its foray into original content. The service will be called Apple TV+.

Apple CEO Tim Cook invited Jamie Ehrlicht and Zack Van Amburg on stage at today’s event at Steve Jobs Theater. Apple hired the two former Sony Television executives in 2017.

The two executives led into a video starring creatives such as JJ Abrams, M. Night Shyamalan, Ron Howard, Sofia Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and more. The stars discussed how they go about their creative process.

Following the video, Steven Spielberg came on stage at Steve Jobs Theater. Spielberg referred to Apple as the “place where imagination and technology join forces.” The acclaimed filmmaker then discussed Amazing Stories, the original series he will reboot for Apple.

Following Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell came onstage to discuss their original TV series for Apple called “The Morning Show.” The show will “pull back the curtain” on morning television. Witherspoon and Aniston will be the leads, alongside Carell. The three didn’t offer any information on a release for The Morning Show.

Next up are Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard to discuss their series “See.” The series was written by Steve Knight and is described as a world-building drama.

Kumail Nanjiani then took the stage. Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon are developing a show called “Little America” for Apple TV+. Details of the show were first reported last year. Little America is an anthology series “inspired by true stories of immigrants in the U.S.”

Up next is Big Bird. Apple and Sesame Workshop have teamed up for a TV show called “Helpsters” that will focus on coding and teaching young children how to program.

Following Big Bird, it’s J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles. The two are developing a half-hour comedy called “Little Voice” that will focus on following a musician finding their breakthrough. Bareilles will serve as a creator and producer, as well as composer. She performed the show’s theme song at today’s event.

Jamie Ehrlicht and Zack Van Amburg then wrapped everything up by explaining how Apple TV+ will become the home to original content from some of the world’s biggest celebrities, as well as newcomers and future stars. They then offered a montage trailer of the shows.

Apple TV+ will be an ad-free subscription service with offline and online support. It will be available this fall. Details on price were not offered.

Things didn’t end there. Tim Cook teased Apple had “one more remarkable storyteller,” inviting Oprah Winfrey on stage. “There has never been a moment quite like this one,” Oprah said. “We want to be heard, but we also must listen. That’s why I have joined forces with Apple. They’re the company that has reimagined how we communicate,” she said. “The Apple platform allows me to do what I do in a whole new way.”

Oprah will produce two documentaries for Apple TV+. One will cover mental health, while the other will explore “the toll of sexual harassment” in the workplace. Oprah will also host a bookclub through Apple TV+ that will be broadcast live.

Apple first launched two original content TV shows in June of 2017 with ‘Planet of the Apps’ and ‘Carpool Karaoke.’ While Apple continues to release new episodes of Carpool Karaoke, Planet of the Apps did not make it past its first season.

Since those shows, Apple has hired two veteran TV Sony Television executives to lead its original content efforts. Today’s announcements mark the first unveil of those efforts, with the two Sony executives coming on stage at the event.

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Cupertino, California — Apple today announced Apple TV+, the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries, coming this fall. Apple TV+, Apple’s original video subscription service, will feature a brand new slate of programming from the world’s most celebrated creative artists, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and more. On the Apple TV app, subscribers will enjoy inspiring and authentic stories with emotional depth and compelling characters from all walks of life, ad-free and on demand.

“We’re honored that the absolute best lineup of storytellers in the world — both in front of and behind the camera — are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this fall. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”

Additionally, Apple debuted the all-new Apple TV app and Apple TV channels coming in May 2019. The all-new Apple TV app brings together the different ways to discover and watch shows, movies, sports, news and more in one app across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, smart TVs and streaming devices. Users can subscribe to and watch new Apple TV channels — paying for only services they want, like HBO, SHOWTIME and Starz — all on demand, available on and offline, with incredible picture quality and sound; enjoy sports, news and network TV from cable and satellite providers as well as purchase or rent iTunes movies and TV shows all within the new, personalized Apple TV app.

Beginning in May, customers can subscribe to Apple TV channels à la carte and watch them in the Apple TV app, with no additional apps, accounts or passwords required. Apple TV channels include popular services such as HBO, Starz, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade, Noggin and new services like MTV Hits, with more to be added over time around the world.

The new Apple TV app personalizes what viewers love to watch across their existing apps and services while developing a secure and comprehensive understanding of users’ viewing interests. The app will offer suggestions for shows and movies from over 150 streaming apps, including Amazon Prime and Hulu, as well as pay-TV services such as Canal+, Charter Spectrum, DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue. Optimum and Suddenlink from Altice will be added later this year.1

Additionally, the Apple TV app will become the new home to the hundreds of thousands of movies and TV shows currently available for purchase or rent in the iTunes Store.

  • Pricing and availability for the Apple TV+ video subscription service will be announced later this fall.
  • The all-new Apple TV app is coming to iPhone, iPad and Apple TV customers in over 100 countries with a free software update this May, and to Mac this fall.
  • Through Family Sharing, users can share Apple TV+ and subscriptions to Apple TV channels.
  • The Apple TV app will be available on Samsung smart TVs beginning this spring and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future.
  • Later this year, customers with eligible VIZIO, Samsung, LG and Sony smart TVs will be able to effortlessly play videos and other content from their iPhone or iPad directly to their smart TVs with AirPlay 2 support.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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